View Full Version : Pre-Filtration Additives - Help Needed.

12-06-2003, 10:43 AM
For over a few years now, I have been using a product called "Clearfine" (Fining Agent) just prior to my filtration of a 30 barrel fermenter. This product has done a fabulous job and assisted with the filtration process. Currently, I am unable to obtain this product any longer so I had to find a substitute. By many recomendations, I was told to use "Unflavored Gelatine" to gain the same results. However, I have yet to figure out how to introduce this product to my fermenter with any great successs. First I just tried mixing in the "beer" via the racking arm to a 5.17 gallon canister loaded with the so called proper amount of gelatine. Unfortunately all I got was a CIP arm full of "beer jello" in the injection phase. Then I tried mixing the gelatine with sanitized warm water and injecting via the CIP arm to only find the majority of the gelatine was left behind in the canister or simply clogged the canisters outlet tube. Tried the same with hot water and still no success. Guess the bottom line is that I MUST be missing something or a bunch of folks are playing a cruel joke on me. Can anyone give me any advice on their techniques and/or a better product? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12-13-2003, 04:38 PM
I have never used gelatin as a fining agent. I have heard that if you are to use it for beer or wine fining you should use 100 bloom type B. I believe the boys at F.H. Steinbart Co. in Portland, OR sell this exact type. They can be reached @ 800-735-8793. Hopefully they can help you or recommend a fining agent for your application.


P.S.--You may get better fining action if you dose finings into the beerstream upon transfer to the conditioning tank.

dick murton
12-14-2003, 01:07 PM
I've not used gelatin except in my very early days of home brewing whilst a college. However ordinary white (fish bladder derived) finings needs at least a few hours to settle out, (10 metere high vessels at zero deg C you can get away with less than 24, but then you have to remove the bottoms, consisting of yeat, protein and finings before you try and filter it. Other wise - bang - one blinded filter.


02-02-2004, 09:53 AM
I use a silica gel for pre-filtration fining. I mix the gel with deaerated water in one of my yeast propagators and pump the slurry into the FV via the CIP pipework on the FV. To ensure the gel actually makes it into the beer, instead of just becoming pipe-jello, I push it with Co2. My FVs are 200 BBL cylindro-conicals equiped with a valve on the CIP arm for just this procedure. It is very effective, and virtually mess-free. It is recommended to contact a gel / finings supplier to find the right product for your application however. Good luck!

Aaron Taubman
02-06-2004, 06:34 AM
I was under the impression that silca hydrogel was most effective if used after the yeast was removed by a primary filtration. The hydrogel will just bind up with the yeast and not be effective for removing proteins.

As to fining, I would recommend using a pump to recirculate going from your bottom valve into your racking arm (assuming its a conical fermenter and you have already removed the yeast) and dosing this stuff slowly. That is the most effective way to mix. You may also want to consider dosing while transfering to a second vessel.

dick murton
02-08-2004, 01:05 PM
You can use silica hydrogels in maturation, normally added on transfer from FV to MV, or as a partial replacement for KG in the filter. It could be used post filtration, but then you would have to filter it again to remove the silica gel. There have been attempts to use it as a total replacement for KG, but now wonderfully cost successful.

When used in conjunction with white finings, it helps to compact the sediment at the bottom of the MV - slightly reduced losses as well as improved haze stability.


03-02-2004, 04:41 AM
My method for gelatin addition-

Putting a small amount of positive pressure on the tank, i open the top (this is easier with a top manway, but in the absence i just remove the mechanical safety) and pour the gelatin/sanitized dearated water mix in. then using the racking arm and the bottom valve (cylindro-conical tank) i circulate (out the racking arm, in the bottom) for 10 min or so to insure distribution. it works pretty well, i allow for at least 2 days to drop.
the problem with gelatin, though cost effective, is that it doesn't take advantage of the iso-electric attraction that say isinglass would, and is therefore less thorough.
good luck

03-02-2004, 01:52 PM
I have used both clarifying agents you speak of and applied it with a keg. With the Gelatin I dissolve 8oz of gelatin in 1/2 gall 190 degrees or above h20 into a 3 gal stainless bucket. At the begining of the transfer from FV to BT I pitch the gelatin slurry through the manway. This works great for me and have had no problems. Or keg a 3 gal corni keg and push the gelatin through the sample cock of FV. Hope this helps

The Pig

03-03-2004, 08:04 AM
what volume of beer are you fining?